In this case, the Court of Appeal of Paris affirmed a judgement of the Court of First Instance of Paris holding that a product “may not acquire novelty simply because it is prepared in a purer form”.

The Court decided that “the parameters that are not inherent to the chemical compound itself, but rather are extrinsic, [should] not be taken into account in order to appraise the novelty of a product”.

As a general rule, where prior art discloses a chemical compound, the compound at issue is disclosed in all degrees of purity.

The Court therefore held that the compound obtained by the patented method, whose only novelty resided in an alleged lesser content of a certain impurity, thus allowing for a long-term use without any toxicity risk, had been disclosed by a prior patent mentioning a process for making the same compound that did not mention any impurity.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


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